I’m not exactly a happy face person. I am quite cynical, practical and realistic. However, I find the level of negativity about the Catholic Church and about Catholics in general on this forum to be quite high.
Virtually every thread has people expressing concern that
- the Church is somehow crumbling;
- the Church leadership (including Pope, bishops, pastors) is at best bumbling and at worst corrupt;
- not enough people bother to practice their religion or go to Mass;
- those who do bother to show up to Mass are all committing grave sins in their personal life, receiving Communion unworthily, being “irreverent” when they are at church, and/or are just going through the motions without really living their faith;
- parishes don’t do enough for new Catholics/ young people/ families/ middle-aged people/ old people/ lonely people/ poor people etc depending on what thread you read;
Catholics paint such a miserable picture of the Church that I sometimes think it is only by the grace of the Holy Spirit that anyone would want to join it or remain a member.
I will grant that certain events such as the clergy abuse scandal are definite big black eyes for the Church and should be addressed going forward and should not be swept under the rug. However, as we have discussed on here many times, the vast majority of clergy do not engage in abusive or scandalous behavior, and the leaders coming up are more aware of the problem and seem less likely to repeat the mistakes of the past.
So, with all that in mind, I’m just wondering if anybody here is, on balance, a happy Catholic who feels positive about the Church, is getting something positive out of their faith and also doesn’t have huge criticisms of/ problems with their fellow Catholics. It would seem if one is going to effectively evangelize, a genuinely positive attitude (not a fake happy face, but feeling genuinely good about the organization you’re promoting) would go a long way.